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Shooters are entwined with the very history of gaming - whether they're third-person, first-person or arranged in any other way, we've been shooting things on home game consoles for decades at this point.

The Xbox Series X and S continue that proud tradition, in offering a wide range of top-class shooters, many of them next-gen ready but also with a huge library of backwards-compatible older games to explore. Here are the very best options.

Best shooters for Xbox Series X and S 2022: Top shooting games photo 3
Xbox / 343 Industries
Halo Infinite
1. Best overall

Open action

$14 $60 Save $46

Halo is back on top form thanks to the superb campaign offered up by Infinite.

  • Huge map
  • Great freedom
  • Simpler story
  • A little simple

The latest Halo game brings it right into the modern world with a far more free-form design and an open-world map for you to explore at your own pace while moving through its campaign. Things are back to the series' basics, in a good way.

With the multiplayer portion of the game also available to play completely for free, Infinite is the best package that the series has been able to offer in quite a while, and definitely a must-play for Xbox Series X or S owners.

Starfield New Atlantis
Bethesda/ Pocket-lint
2. Best RPG shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Endless stories

A brilliant space RPG that also has some fun shooting to offer up, Starfield will swallow you whole for weeks at a time.

  • Loads of weapons
  • Fun powers
  • Massive world of stories
  • Shooting could be more polished

Starfield might be a space RPG, but it's also absolutely full of combat - almost all of it shooting (with some space dogfights thrown in the mix, too).

Its shooting isn't the best on this list, but the enormous world it offers up is so expansive and offers so many stories and characters that you could well spend months in Starfield without needing any other game.

Best PlayStation 5 games 2020: Amazing PS5 titles to pick up photo 9
Resident Evil Village
3. Best horror shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Scary stuff

A terrifying game that's also totally thrilling and has action set-pieces to spare.

  • Looks great
  • Amazing action
  • Properly scary sequences
  • Really gory

Resident Evil might be a horror franchise, but it's also historically featured a fair bit of shooting action, and that's no different in Village. While you'll spend a lot of your time running away from scary monstrosities of many varieties, you'll also often be able to shoot back.

There are sequences in this game that we will remember for a very, very long time, and that's a testament to how deranged it gets in places. The action comes in peaks and troughs, and we think it's a superb new step for the series.

High On Life hands-on preview: Plenty of funny business photo 1
Squanch Games
High on Life
4. Best funny shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Humourous action

A hilarious alien shooter that has a totally distinctive brand of humour going on.

  • Consistently funny
  • Doesn't demand much of you
  • Inventive characters and enemies
  • Humour isn't for everyone
  • Not graphically the wildest

This hilarious shooter will be perfect for anyone who enjoys Rick and Morty - it's from the mind of Justin Roiland, with uproarious humour and some crazy weapons to find and talk to.

Yeah, the guns talk - it's no gimmick, though, but rather a way to crowbar in a seriously funny script at basically all moments. It's not a serious shooter, but that doesn't mean it isn't loads of fun.

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IO Interactive / Square Enix
Hitman 3
5. Best stealth shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Intricate stealth

A stealth shooter that will have you marvelling at just how complicated its levels are.

  • Amazing levels
  • Superb replayability
  • Looks brilliant
  • Requires a bit of self-drive

The reborn Hitman series has been a total treat over the last few years, concluding with the superb third title. It offers up more intricate levels for you to work your way through, finding and eliminating your targets as seamlessly and secretively as possible.

With some truly devilish methods to discover and locations that are eye-wateringly beautiful at times, it's a playground that rewards inventiveness and new ideas. Hitman 3 is the perfect pick for anyone who wants a more cerebral shooter.

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Sniper Elite 5
5. Best sniper shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Sniper's heaven

The best Sniper Elite yet is brilliant on Xbox.

  • Amazing sniping
  • Huge levels
  • Fun emergent options
  • Could look snazzier

If you want a little more shooting to go with your stealth, then Sniper Elite 5 is a perfect accompaniment to Hitman 3, with similarly intricate levels that unfold as you move around them, completing clandestine objectives. The real core of it all, though, is the sniping, and it's glorious again - with long-range kill shots and the most in-depth X-ray camera yet for those who like some gore while they game.

It isn't necessarily the most glamorous game on this list, but Sniper Elite 5 is a testament to how a series can evolve over time when a studio takes the care to slowly upgrade it iteration by iteration.

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6. Best paranormal shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Paranormal action

A great shooter that also blends in some crazy action options.

  • Great sense of tone
  • So many powers to gain
  • Taut shooting
  • Might be too weird for some

A shooter that comes to offer up far more than just guns by the end of its runtime, Control is a brilliant thrill ride that sees you exploring an otherworldly government office building that's in the grips of a paranormal emergency.

You'll get a shapeshifting weapon to fight back against encroaching foes with, but the real stars of the show are the powers you'll rack up over time, from telekinesis to eventually full-on flight.

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Bethesda / id Software
Doom Eternal
8. Best pure shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Brutal shooter

A quick and brutal shooter that will have you learning some complex skills.

  • So quick and smooth
  • Looks great
  • Loads of variety in encounters
  • Hard as nails
  • Very gory (unsurprisingly)

When Bethesda rebooted Doom in 2016, we didn't know just how huge a success it would have brought about. The sequel to that reboot confirms the series' place as one of the best shooter options on the market right now.

Doom Eternal is insanely fast and brutal, and iterates on the amazing base laid down by the first game with new combat options and enemies that are genuinely really challenging if you don't adapt to their weaknesses and strengths.

Metal: Hellsinger image 1
Metal: Hellsinger
9. Best musical shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Rhythm action

A superb, completely fresh rhythm shooter that is competely unique to play.

  • Looks and sounds amazing
  • Ripping soundtrack
  • Replayability through score-chasing
  • Not the longest game
  • If you hate metal music it's not ideal

A shooter with a difference, Metal: Hellsinger has you trying to stay on beat while you shoot, all to a lung-busting soundtrack of metal anthems. It's absolutely loads of fun, and great for leaderboard-chasers.

Plus, it's unlike anything else on this list thanks to its focus on timing and rhythm, something that feels really fresh. The story might be hard to follow, but you're not really playing it for that anyway. Best of all, it's on Game Pass!

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Gears 5
10. Best co-op shooter for Xbox Series X/S

Cover shooter

The cover-shooter star is back with a great fifth entry that reboots things a little.

  • Open maps
  • Great multiplayer
  • Fun story
  • Still a bit slow in places

Gears is a classic Xbox franchise, and while the last full game was released a little while before the Series X and Series S came out, it's been nicely enhanced for the new hardware. This means you can enjoy better resolutions and 120Hz gameplay if your display supports it.

For a game with a vibrant multiplayer offering, that's a great option that fans will appreciate, and it helps that the game's core campaign and DLC packs are also a bundle of fun to play through. Once again, they let you loose in larger open areas, proving that this design trend is here to stay.

How to choose your next shooter on Xbox Series X or S

There are almost too many shooters available on Xbox Series X and S to count, so here are some questions to help you narrow things down a little.

Have you checked out Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is a membership scheme Microsoft offers that gives you instant access to a huge library of games, including many shooters like Halo Infinite. It's a great way to try out some shooters at a lower up-front cost, although you won't own the games you play.

We highly recommend checking out the roster of titles it offers, as you might well find the game you want to play can be accessed through it at a lower cost.

How hard is too hard?

Some of the games on our list are harder than others, so it's worth considering how experienced you are at shooters before you commit to one. If you're a bit new to the genre, read reviews to make sure you don't end up committing to something uncompromising and unforgiving.

What sort of shooter do you prefer?

There are plenty of shooter types, not least in the form of first-person shooters and those in the third person, so if you know you have a preference for one over the other that should be at the forefront of your mind as you browse for your next game.